Geoff Kors, Executive Director of Equality California, has decided not to an invitation to attend Obama's inauguration. Why? Because of the Obama administration's decision to have evangelical pastor Rick Warren deliver the invocation. Warren, you see, worked to get prop 8 passed, which allowed discrimination into the California state constitution. An odd choice, indeed.
Kors defends his decision not to attend, saying, "I have decided to decline the invitation to attend the inauguration as I cannot be part of a celebration that highlights and gives voice to someone who advocated repealing rights from me and millions of other Californians."
What a mistake. We keep talking about how gays need to build coalitions and introduce ourselves to people and make ourselves known; after all, Harvey Milk's whole deal was coming out and being visible. But now this guy is turning down an opportunity to introduce himself to the VERY PEOPLE WHOSE HEARTS WE NEED TO TURN? Jesus.
Geoff's reservations are understandable; if we were in his place, we would think, "How could we, in good conscience, be a part of something that involves a person of whom we disapprove so strongly?" But then we would re-think with a bit more clarity, "How could we NOT?" This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage, and we are disappointed that EQCA is passing it up.
Rick Warren has been spoiling for a fight ever since he started attacking our families. But he's bluffing -- this is a fight that everyone knows we (i.e., those of us for equal rights) will win. So what's EQCA afraid of? Politics is a big bad messy place, and if they're too scared to skin their knuckles once in a while, they oughta pack it in now. If we may quote from an episode of Star Trek? Ahem:
If you can't take a little bloody nose -- maybe you had better go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous -- with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross -- but it is not for the timid.
If Geoff Kors is so opposed to Obama's selection and to what Rick Warren represents, then he should have the nerve to walk up to them both and tell them, not hide in California.
Geoff, we hope you reconsider. Please.